Yeshua Confirms Lack of Torah Signals the End

No video today.

Usually, when someone takes a single line or passage from the Bible and uses it to make a point, I become a little leery because that generally indicates something else is missing. I am going to do that very thing today, and hope to still be able to validate what I say.

The line I am talking about is Matthew 24:12, which says (Complete Jewish Bible) :

…and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah.

This is taken out of the paragraph in which Yeshua is telling his Talmudim (Disciples) about the End of Days. I believe that most of you reading this are familiar with what was said about wars and rumors of wars, famine, earthquakes, etc., and as hard as I could I did not see this specific statement about “distance from Torah” in either of the other Gospels.

The KJV says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”; the NKJV says, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”; and (lastly) the NIV says, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…“. 

All of these versions indicate an increase of lawlessness and iniquity, which is, by definition, distancing oneself from Torah, is it not?  So Yeshua, by telling us that in the end times there will be more and more people rejecting the Torah, is identifying what Christianity is doing, and has been for centuries.  Since even before the end of the First Century, the Gentile “Church” fathers have been working to separate themselves from Judaism, which is the very root of the tree they have been grafted onto. I ask you- if a branch separates itself from the root, how can it be nourished? How can it hope to survive?

When I would teach Messianic Judaism to new Believers I used this example: Remeber the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Elmer Fudd chased Bugs into a tree? Bugs would be out at the end of a branch, and Elmer would be sitting on the branch attached to the bole of the tree, sawing away at the part Bugs was on. Laughing, Elmer would say, “I’ve got you now, you silly wabbit!” and as soon as he sawed through the branch, the tree fell down with him it in, and Bugs remained suspended in the air.”  After we all had a chuckle, I would tell them that this is what Christianity thinks is possible- to separate themselves from the tree they are connected to and yet still remain “saved” from destruction.

Yeshua is telling his Talmudim that as more and more people reject the Torah, which leads to lawlessness and iniquity running wild, the End of Days (in the Hebrew it is called the Acharit haYamim) will be getting closer. And the rest of the passage states that those who hold out to the end will be delivered. That means, obviously, obedience to Torah will not gain our salvation, but it will secure it.

We are saved through faith, but faith demands obedience to Torah and Yeshua is saying here that those who remain obedient will be among the saved. Like it or not, God’s commandments are valid throughout time, until the new earth and new Jerusalem come from heaven. And even after that, Torah will still be valid, only under the New Covenant, it won’t need to be written on a scroll because, as Jeremiah tells us, it will be written on our hearts.

If you have been told that the Torah was “nailed to the cross with Jesus”, or any other such teachings, anything to indicate that Torah is for Jews but Christians have the Blood of Christ, well…that’s not according to Jesus.  Messiah told us all that distance from the Torah will result in loss of salvation, and since John says the Word (Torah at that time) became flesh, obviously referring to Yeshua, that means that those who reject Torah also reject Yeshua.

How many of you think that rejecting Yeshua will result in your salvation?

Is Jesus God? I Have the Definitive Answer!

I have heard people argue in person, in congregations, and on Face Book in different discussion groups whether or not Jesus (Yeshua) is God (the Father) or just the Messiah. Is He God? Is He just a human being? What does “God in the Flesh” really mean, anyway?

Before we get to what I consider the definitive answer to this unanswerable question, let’s review Bruck’s Acid Test Question for discussion topics:

How does this affect my salvation?

If I believe Yeshua is God, does that make me any more “saved” than someone who believes Yeshua is just the Messiah and a separate entity from God? Is believing in God the Father and Yeshua the Messiah as separate entities something that is dishonoring God? Will I not be saved if I only accept Yeshua as God’s son and the Messiah God promised?

If I believe Yeshua is not God the Father, am I rejecting God? If I believe Yeshua is God, why do I need to have faith in a messiah? If the Messiah is God, why do I need to identify Him as a Messiah? God is all I will need, right?  But if Yeshua is not God and I put my faith in Him as the means of my forgiveness, does that mean I am not saved?

If I have faith that Yeshua is the Messiah who provides forgiveness of sin, will it make any difference to my being forgiven whether Yeshua is God or not?

Do you see where I am going with this?

The definitive answer to the question, “Is Jesus God?” is this: It doesn’t matter!

No one can argue against the biblical fact that Yeshua lived a life and died. Even those who don’t accept Him as Messiah cannot really argue against the biblical and extra-biblical historical evidence of His life. And anyone who accepts Yeshua as their Messiah cannot argue that His sacrifice is what now provides for us the means to be forgiven of our sins (because with the Temple destroyed we have no place to offer sacrifice for sin, in accordance with Torah.)

So, whether or not Yeshua is God, He is (at least) Messiah, and it is our faith that through Yeshua we are saved. The faith in Yeshua that He is the Messiah and His sacrifice was for us, and also our faith in God that He will keep His promise to forgive those who ask for it, in Yeshua’s name. This is how we are saved: proclaiming faith that Yeshua is the Messiah God promised, that when we do T’shuvah (turn from sin) and ask God for forgiveness invoking the name of Yeshua, we will be forgiven. That is how salvation works.

So can you see that whether or not Yeshua is God doesn’t affect our salvation- we are covered one way or the other. That’s why it doesn’t really matter.

But let’s not stop now!

Ask yourself this: What value is the argument about Yeshua being God, or not being God, have to anyone? Who really benefits from this discussion? I’ll tell you who benefits from it- The enemy does!

What I have heard and seen when this topic comes up is, invariably, dissension, argumentation, dissonance, hatred, pridefulness and anger. All these emotions, especially when brothers and sisters in the Lord direct them at each other, serve only the enemy of God.  Yeshua said people will know we are His Disciples by how we love each other, but when this discussion comes up, love goes right out the window! Because any answer makes no difference to our salvation, this is a useless discussion that only causes strife every time it comes up, and as such serves no useful purpose in God’s kingdom or to a gathering of God’s people.

Whether or not Jesus is God doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is how we treat each other, how we maintain our focus on what is important and how we learn more about what God wants us to do for His kingdom and His glory. Now, I can’t talk for God, but I am willing to go out on a limb and say I really, really doubt God wants us to argue with each other about something that has nothing to do with salvation, spreading the word, making disciples or showing the peace and love that God has for everyone. Aren’t those things more important than a theological discussion about deity that doesn’t edify or help anyone?

Think about it.

Which Generation Will See the Kingdom of God?

Yeshua tells His Talmudim (Disciples, or students), and also mentions throughout the Gospels, that some of this generation will see the kingdom of God come:

Matthew 16:28- I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

Mark 9:1- And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.

Luke 9:27- I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God

If we took these statements literally, it would mean that at least some of the people He talked with would see what we expect from Revelations, i.e. the new heaven and the new earth, with the Temple coming down from the sky. But none of that happened then, and in fact, hasn’t happened even to this day.

Clearly, there must be a deeper meaning.

Judaism and Christianity both believe the number 7 has special significance, in that it represents completion; this comes from the 7th day being Shabbat (the world was completed in 6 days and on the 7th day God rested.) God told us to rest on the 7th day, after which we start to count the days until the next Shabbat, so we can draw from this that even though the world was created in just 6 days, God sees the 7th day as the completion of that cycle.

Further along on this thought, there is a belief in Judaism that the world is going to last for 6,000 years (Talmud-Sanhedrin 97a), and at that time (if the Messiah hasn’t come before then) the Age of Messiah will begin with the 7,000 year. The reason we wait 6,000 years is based on the 7th day Shabbat and this verse from the Psalms:

Psalms 90:4– For one thousand years in Your [God’s] eyes are but a day that has passed.

Let’s look at the biblical history of mankind: God created people through Adam and Eve, and all but 8 of them died out in the Flood. Then an entirely new race of people came from Noah and his sons. Can’t we call this a new generation of human beings? The next destruction of human beings, namely this current post-Flood generation, will occur with the Tribulation when all living and dead human beings will be judged, with the righteous (saved by Messiah) being resurrected with a new body, and the doomed going to the Lake of Fire and eternal damnation.   Therefore, we are a generation of people with finite lifetimes, which will be completely different after the final Judgment, when we will be beings of eternal life. A new, third generation.

Therefore, I believe what Yeshua meant when He said some of this generation will not pass away until they see the Kingdom of God come will be of those people who have lived between the Flood and the Tribulation. In the bible we have people who existed before the Flood (the first generation), then the people that repopulated the earth after the flood (the second generation, which is the current one), and there will be the third generation, composed of those who survive the Tribulation and are resurrected by means of their faith in Yeshua.

The number 7 represents completion, but so does the number 3. This is why I see God’s plan for His creation completed in the  7th  Millennia with the 3rd generation.

A completed creation, earth and people, that will last for eternity.


I got nuttin!

Many times as I am riding my bike or in the shower (where many people do their best thinking) I will be praying or just letting my mind wander (someday it may come back home) and I get inspiration for something to write about.

Today I got nuttin…nuttin at all. It’s like the breakfast cereal commercial:

“Hey, Steve- what are you sharing this morning with us?”

“Nut ‘n Honey.”

When this happens, which is (luckily) not too often, I review the topics I have, such as Jews and Jesus, Parashot, Messianic 101, and see if something comes to me. If not, then I do what I am doing this very moment- I just start to write and see what happens.

While I am waiting for something to come to me, I should thank all of you who follow my blog. I regret that I have not always followed back, and that was because (up until my retirement this year) I was too busy to be able to read all the blogs I would need to. Please know that I really, REALLY appreciate you following this, and I would even go as far as to ask you to share it on your Facebook or Twitter accounts to everyone else that you know. I also would really appreciate it if you buy my book- if you like what I write here, you should like my book, also.

I am not above hyping my own work.

With Passover coming, Donna and I are thinking of which friends we can invite to share the Seder with us. Even though the bible is clear that only those people who sojourn with the Israelites are to share in the Passover Seder, I think that today, any Gentile who is covered with the blood of Messiah would be eligible, and we even will invite people who are not Jewish, or not even “saved” (Oy Gevalt!) because we want them to know the true meaning of the Last Supper. There is a Hebraic Roots church that we are working with to provide a Seder on the 15th of April for Christians, so that they can see what the Last Supper really means. I think most Christians see it as a sad event, Jesus knowing that He will die. But the truth is the Passover Seder is a very happy event, and I am sure that Yeshua (Jesus) and all His Disciples enjoyed their meal together.

During the meal we retell the Passover story, and it is an interactive reading. The food is always good, the wine flows freely (each person is supposed to drink no less than 4 cups, which is essentially an entire bottle) and the event is a happy celebration of the freedom we receive from God. The Seder Donna and I host uses a Messianic Hagaddah (the Hagaddah is the text setting forth the order of service and the story of Passover), which is the same as the “Jewish” Hagaddah, except that it references Yeshua where the Jewish Hagaddah references Messiah. Other than that it is the same, which is nearly identical to the one Jesus celebrated some 2,000 years ago.

That’s pretty cool when you think about it: we are telling the same story, with the same items on the table, that Yeshua and His Disciples did the night before He was crucified. The one exception is that we do not serve lamb, because the Passover lamb is to be sacrificed at the place where God put His name, which is the Temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), and since that Temple no longer exists, we cannot sacrifice the lamb as ordered in the Torah. So, we substitute chicken for the lamb.

Our Seder starts with Matzo Ball soup (Donna makes it so well you forget she wasn’t raised Jewish), the main course is baked chicken with roasted red potatoes, and the desert is a lemon pudding upside down cake (no yeast is used) and walnut meringue cookies. Sometimes we also have chocolate covered matzo. Yum!

Another interesting thing, which I believe I have talked about before, is that Yeshua’s death was a sin sacrifice, but the Passover Lamb sacrifice is NOT for sin- it is a Thanksgiving, or Friendship sacrifice. The Passover lamb is not the same sacrifice as the sin (or guilt) sacrifice. So when we refer to Yeshua as the Passover Lamb, that isn’t the role He fulfilled that day, or was it?

When I was studying for my Messianic Minister Certificate, one of the classes I had discussed how Yeshua fulfills both the Thanksgiving sacrifice AND the Yom Kippur sacrifice, at the same time. His Passover sacrifice was to cleanse our sins (as the Yom Kippur sacrifice does) but it also served to bring us closer to God (as the Thanksgiving sacrifice does.)  So when He gave His life, He not only cleansed our sins but brought us into communion with God, which (when you think of it) is only possible after our sins have been cleansed.

Well, nothing else is coming to me- maybe there is a message for someone in what I have written, maybe there isn’t anything but my mindless rambling. I hope, if nothing else, it has been somewhat entertaining for you to share in my absence of thoughts.

Have a blessed day and Happy Springtime!

prayer spam

When the Talmudim (Disciples/students) of Yeshua asked Him how they should pray, well….we all know His answer. But do we think about the line that goes, “Give us this day our daily bread…”? Do we think about what He might have meant by that?

Not the P’shat, which means the written word as it is written, but the Drash– the underlying, spiritual meaning.

I believe what Yeshua was saying was that when we pray, we need to ask only for what we need, then and there. Not for success in life, not for riches or fame, not for next week’s presentation to the Board, but for now. Right now, and only right now, and only what I need right now. I also think that God wants our prayers to go to Him, to the Father, to be delivered in the name of the Son. Not to the Son, not to a “Saint” who is supposed to, what? Intercede with Yeshua (Jesus) to intercede with God? Didn’t Yeshua say the ONLY way to the Father is through the Son (John 14:6)?

What does that mean? It means that our prayers are to be sent to the Father in the name of the Son, and not to the Son for Him to bring to the Father. When we pray to anyone, or anything (even worse!) other than God, Himself- God the Father, God the Creator, God the one and only and God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- then we are committing idolatry.

And when we pray to God, do we pray for what we need now, and only what we need now? I have heard people pray, and I believe their prayers are earnest, but they pray for the same thing over and over, they use “Father God” over, and over, and over- the way a “Valley Girl” uses the work “like”- until I have to think that God is saying to Himself, “All right, already- I know who I am! Just ask for what you want and leave all the ‘Father God this’ and ‘Father God that’ out of it! Oy!”

Don’t pray spam to God. He wants to hear from your heart. I have seen people pause during prayer and I can see them start to sweat trying to think of something else to say. If you have nothing more to say, than what you should say is: nothing more. Just stop. Just end the endless stream of useless words and catch-phrases that are supposed to make you sound like Solomon blessing the Temple. That was a long prayer, and it was a really good one. But long doesn’t mean better. How about Moses’ prayer (Numbers 12:13) when Miriam was struck by God with leprosy? Did he go on and on, or did he just say, “Oh Lord- please heal her!”

Moses found those 5 words to be as effective and meaningful as an entire thesis presented by a graduate student in Theology. God doesn’t just see the heart, He hears the heart.

We see someone who is homeless and downtrodden and (usually) think the worst, yet God sees Job during his trials of faith. We see someone who is mentally or physically challenged and thank God it isn’t us, and God sees a caring, faithful and compassionate person who is thankful that no one else they know has the same problems.

The words we use when we pray are not as important as the condition of our heart. When King David prayed for forgiveness in Psalm 51, he said that God will not despise a broken heart and a contrite spirit. It is the condition of our heart that generates prayer pleasing to the Lord; the fancy King James style words we use, the number of times we say “Oh Lord” or “Father God”, or the length of prayer is all totally meaningless. That is only pleasing to humans who know only what they see and hear. People only see the P’shat of the world, and not the Drash of humanity. I think people just pray “spam” when they use fancy words and long, poetic phrases meant to impress the people around them, and I just have to believe that God is thinking, “Your prayer is to Me, but I know the way you are praying is to impress those around you, so let them answer your prayer.”

Remember: when you pray, God already knows what you need. He knows what you want, He knows is best for you, and He will deliver it when He knows the time is right for you. What you say will not influence His decision but what you feel in your heart will.

When you pray remember the advice Yeshua gave His Talmudim in the Gospels- do not worry about what to say because the Ruach (Spirit) will give you what you need. Trust in the Spirit to guide your prayer and don’t pray from your mouth: pray from your heart.



Parashah B’resheet (In the Beginning) Genesis 1-6:8

This past Monday, the 24th, was the celebration of Sh’mini Atzeret, the Eighth Day. This is also called Simchat Torah, or Joy of Torah. The joy is that we read the last sentence or two of D’varim (Deuteronomy) and then, as the congregation sings songs of joy, we turn the Torah back (you can get real “Popeye” arms from doing this!) to the start, and read the first sentence or two of B’resheet (Genesis.) The Parashot readings are usually over a one year cycle, but some synagogues will read the Torah over a three year cycle. In either case, Simchat Torah will always be on the eighth day of Sukkot.

This first parashah takes us from nothingness to just before God causes the flood. Of course, even in the nothingness of a universal void, God already was there. What was for Mankind the very beginning of everything was just another eon for God.

For the Jewish people, reading the Torah is joy, and the Haftorah portions and traditional Holy Day readings incorporate most of the rest of the Tanakh. But for many Christian people, they never get to know who Yeshua (Jesus) really is because they separate the Torah and the Old Covenant writings from the New Covenant. This is mainly because we are all taught, both Jews and Gentiles, that these books represent two separate religions. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Traditional teaching is that the “God” of the Old Covenant is vengeful, violent and strict, whereas the “God” of the New Covenant is, essentially, Jesus (real name- Yeshua), and I say that because whereas the O.C. is all about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the N.C. talks about God only as “the Father”, and He gets second billing to Jesus. The O.C. God has the Jews kill nations and depopulate Canaan, He kills His own people, He is strict, He has all these rules and laws and commandments, He requires sacrifices, He has His prophets call fire from heaven on people, yadda-yadda-yadda. That O.C. God is a real meanie. Oh, but the N.C. God, this nice, quiet, calm and totally loving Jesus is nothing like that. He is all about love, He is all about forgiveness, and acceptance, and peace. He cried at Lazarus’s tomb. He is such a nice boy, to make His mother proud.

Get real, people- Jesus was (and still is) His Father’s son! Did Jesus ever say anything nice, loving, compassionate or forgiving about the Pharisees? As I recall, He called them white-washed sepulchers, full of dead man’s bones. And what about those quiet, society-serving businessmen that were helping people to buy sacrificial animals and exchanging monies in the Temple courts? They were serving the people, and Jesus whipped them, over-turned their tables and (without using bad language) cursed them out. He told His followers they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood; He told His followers that He came to separate families and turn fathers against sons, and mothers against daughters; He said people had to crucify themselves if they wanted to follow Him. He even called-out one of His best friends: when Kefa (Peter) voiced how upset he would be if anything bad happened to Jesus, instead of lovingly hugging him for being so concerned, Jesus called him Satan- He said, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” He didn’t say, “C’mon, Pete- get with the program” or “Thank you, Brother, for the kind concern but I must do my Father’s work.” No- Jesus chewed Peter out, in front of everyone!

As we start to read the O.C.  again, let’s remember (and if you never learned this before, then learn it now) that these are NOT separate stories about two separate religions: it is the same story, the same religion, the same God and the same Messiah.

  • The O.C. starts with absolutely nothing in existence. It then tells how God created everything, chose a people, developed them, grew them despite everyone else in the world trying to kill them; gave them His rules for how to worship and honor Him, and how to treat each other. It tells how He set them up in their own land so that from there He could rule them, and they were to be an example and a blessing to the world. Finally, through His chosen people, His Torah (which means teachings, not laws) and His Messiah, the entire world would find salvation from their sins and have eternal communion with Him. It ends with the overthrow of Jerusalem, destruction of the Temple, and the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the known world.
  • The N.C. is the continuation, taking over where the O.C. left off, with the coming of the promised Messiah who taught the Jews the hidden meanings of the Torah that they had not discovered. Jesus taught them how to live the Torah to it’s fullest, both physically and spiritually, and that He was there to finalize the Almighty’s plan of salvation by becoming the ultimate and final sacrifice for sin. Because we all failed to live in accordance with Torah, Yeshua ha Maschiach (Yeshua the Messiah) completed God’s plan of salvation by overcoming, with His own blood, those sins that we could not overcome on our own. We then read how His story spread and how salvation came to both Jews and Gentiles. The N.C. ends as the O.C. began,  with a brand new beginning.

If I was to write a dust jacket for the (entire) Bible, it would be something like this:

A wonderful love story of the one and only God and how He fulfilled His plan to create Mankind and provide an eternal paradise for them. There is action, death, rebellion, supernatural events, romance, treachery and despite what seems to be the total destruction of God’s plan, there is a happy ending for those that find the truth and accept the salvation provided for them. It can be hard to understand in parts, and sometimes the story line drags a little, but it delivers a satisfying read with many messages that are appropriate for both the individual and the society. Overall, I give it two thumbs up! (Available in both paper and digital format.) 

If you think that the O.C. is for Jews and the N.C. is all Christians really need to know, try reading the second book in a series without reading the first one. After you do that, then read the first book, and you will see how much you were missing. It is the same with the Old and New Covenants- please believe me when I tell you these are one book, one story, one God (the same one in both) and one Messiah, promised in the first book and delivered in the second. With one beginning and one ending, which is a new beginning.

That new beginning at the end of the bible is when the new heaven and the new earth are created for the survivors of the destruction of the old earth; it is a new paradise.

Start your year right now, with a new beginning of understanding and a new realization of the symmetry and synergy between the Old and New Covenants. Read from Genesis all the way through Revelations, and see how it all fits perfectly. If you are Jewish and have never read the New Covenant, invest in your eternity and buy a Messianic version just so that you can get passed some of the subtle anti-Semitic intonations of the King James and NIV versions. However, even those versions will give you an idea, if you are willing to look, of the Jewishness of the New Covenant. Jesus’s real name is Yeshua, meaning God’s Salvation, and He was, is and always will be identified as a Jewish man, the Son of the God of the Jews. That is an unfortunate label, because God is not the God of the Jews, He is God- the one and only God, and the God of everyone and everything. He has no religion, He has His commandments, rules and regulations for worshiping Him and treating each other.

That’s all there is- worship God and treat each other as you would want to be treated. All the rest falls into place if you do those two things.

Chag Sameach! (Happy Holidays) and may God bless you in your endeavor to know Him better, to serve Him with love and faithful obedience, and may you be a blessing to others.

Keep on Truckin’, Baby!

I love living in Florida, one reason is that I can ride my bike all year long. I was taking a long ride yesterday, one that has some elevation (a causeway over the Banana River) so I can get a little more of a workout. As I was approaching the causeway there is a spot where I go down hill on a grassy area onto a parking lot. I have done this many times, and as I was zipping along at a brisk 15 MPH or so, I saw a tuft of grass in front of me. I figured I would have a little bump, but just as I got to the grass I saw that it was hiding one of those 8″ high cement bumpers.

Ooops- forgot about those being there.

Well, I pulled up hard on the handlebars and tried to jump it, and even though I got the front wheel over, the back didn’t make it and bumpity-bumpity-bump: I lost control to a large degree, but remarkably, even though the bike took a spill, I didn’t. I managed to walk right over the bike as it went down and maintained my balance.

Any landing you can walk away from is a good one, right?

I did get a nasty bump on one leg from the pedal and some scrapes on the other ankle, but for the most part I escaped unbroken and (mostly) undamaged. I picked up the bike, straightened the fenders and went back on my way.

So, nu? What’s this got to do with God? A lot.

We often read about how the gold must go through the fire to be refined, and Yeshua warns His Talmudim (disciples) that following Him will be like picking up one’s execution stake every day. We read about David’s trials while living as a bandit, in the caves and hills, trying to escape Shaul haMelech (King Saul), and we are preached to, over and over (like now) about having to run the good race and keep our eyes on the prize.

In other words, when you fall, get up. We all know that lesson, right? So what’s different with what happened to me?

What was different is that although I fell, and got back up, I didn’t get as hurt as I have in previous falls because having fallen many times I know what to do.  I knew what was coming. I was able to act so that my reaction allowed me to fall gracefully and maintain my balance. And, yes, after I fell I thanked God for the fact I wasn’t too damaged, then I got back on the bike and continued my journey.

We will all fall at some point on our walk with the Lord. In fact, we should be falling. I found this saying on the Internet, and it helps to make my point:

Ski instructors are taught that if their students aren’t falling at least once per run they are not learning new, improved form.

We need to fall, we need to go through the fire, and we need to know that the more we fall, the better we fall, the less likely we will get damaged, and the faster we can recover. That’s the lesson for today: don’t be afraid of falling; instead, learn how to fall.

When I was studying Judo we learned how to fall so that we would minimize the pain and the damage, and in our walk with the Lord we need to learn how to fall with grace and compassion (for ourselves), then to get up and keep on keepin’ on. Walking with God is hard, and you will have many roadblocks and falls, but you’ve got to keep on truckin’, Baby!

Falling can hurt, and if you let falling slow you down or make you quit, you will be a loser in the most important race of your life, no…make that the most important race of your eternity! Expect to fall, learn how to fall in control, and when you do you will fall with less damage and you will be able to get back up on your feet faster.

Don’t worry about taking a tumble or two, it’s only going to make you stronger. And take comfort in knowing that God is always there to help you back up on your feet.

How to Witness to Jewish People

When witnessing to Jewish people we must remember to be sensitive to the 2,000 years of anti-Semitic prejudice that has infiltrated the “church” teachings.

As a Jewish man, I can tell you that I have seen anti-Semitism, shrouded in the “Christian” Bible and also clearly demonstrated by those that have been told how the Christians are not subject to the “Law”, saved by the Blood and, in extreme cases, now the new Israel and God’s chosen people because since the Jews rejected Jesus, God has rejected the Jews (this is called Replacement Theology).

I don’t have the time to go into how absurd and anti-biblical that idealism is, and will discuss it some time in the future. It is a very serious sin, against God (essentially it calls Him a liar) and against His chosen people.

You might ask, if it is so hard to witness to Jews, why should we? Well, how about because Yeshua said you should. Remember the last words in the Gospels, i.e., the “Great Commission”?  Yeshua didn’t say go make disciples out of people who already believe, or out of only the Goyim (literally, the Nations), but go to the Jews.  Yeshua Himself told the Syrian woman that it wasn’t right to give the children’s food to their dogs (no offence, Syria), and Shaul (Paul) said that the Good News was to the Jew first, then the Gentile. It wasn’t until later that salvation was made available to the Gentiles, too.

That’s why you need to remember that you will not impress any Jewish person by quoting the New Covenant writings. Why? It’s simple- Jews are taught that the New Covenant is a different religion and they don’t believe anything in it. It caused thousands of years of death and persecution. If I tried to ask you to become a Nazi and quoted Mein Kampf, would it hold sway over you?  That may seem outrageous to compare Hitler and Jesus, but to a Jewish person, the Jesus Christ of the Western World isn’t far from that. The Crusades, the Inquisition, Martin Luther’s teachings, Nazi uniforms had the words “Gott mit uns” (God is with us) on their belt buckles.  Yeah, I think that it’s not too hard to see why Jews don’t trust anything in the New Covenant writings.

When I was a salesman, selling high priced items in the home on a one-call close (buy now or never), I learned you can’t tell people that their ideas or beliefs are wrong. You also can’t change their minds because people believe (maybe) 50% of what you say, but they believe 100% of what they say.

So, the way to get people to change their minds is to make them change it, themselves. How? By asking questions. Make them see that they do not have the information they need to make a proper decision.

For instance, if a Jewish person says they don’t believe Yeshua is the Messiah, I will ask them, “Why?”  Usually the answer is, “Because” (I did a drash on this recently- you should be able to find it under the Jews and Jesus category.)  Most Jews reject Yeshua simply because they have been told to. And by people they trust and respect: their parents, their Rabbi, their friends. It’s tough to overcome that.

After you make them realize they don’t really have a reason, the next step is to qualify why you believe, and use ONLY the Tanakh references as your justification.

DO NOT TRY TO SELL A JEW ON JESUS USING THE NEW COVENANT. It ain’t gonna work. And, if you can’t identify at least a couple of Messianic references in the Tanakh, you better brush up on your knowledge. You might want to ask yourself why you believe! If you believe only because of what you have been told, and if you can’t cite messianic prophecy from the Tanakh and show how it came true, you aren’t ready to minister to the outside world.  Study up, get to know your reasons for accepting Yeshua as your Messiah. That is what you need to tell Jewish people; in fact, that is the best witness to anyone.

No, wait- the best witness is to live as Yeshua wants us to live. To love God and to love each other.

Another lesson I learned in sales that you need in ministry is that if  you don’t have an absolutely firm belief in your “product”, if you don’t “own” the product, and not just physically but emotionally, then you won’t be successful.

“Whoa, Steven- what’s all this talk about ‘selling Jesus’? This isn’t a sale, it’s salvation!”

Get real- it’s a sale!

If you want to minister to people you need to sell Jesus. And, if you don’t like that idea, then you should consider another way of serving God. Ministering to the masses is tough work. I have a ton of respect for people that go into the darkness (in other words, the World) to save souls. It is the ultimate sale, and a “commission” that doesn’t have a commission. Although it is rewarding to save a soul, your reward will not be here on Earth but in Heaven. And it will be great.

Look at it another way- refusing to witness to Jews is like saying, “Let the Jews die unsaved.” You think God appreciates that? Is that what Yeshua would want?

You can expect a lot of rejection from Jews. After all, to a Jewish person believing in Jesus is like turning your back on God, your people and 5,000 years of  history. Some of the objections you will hear will be:

* Jesus could not have been the Messiah because there wasn’t peace after his death and we don’t have heaven on Earth

* I like being Jewish and don’t want to convert to Christianity (most Jews never heard of Messianic Judaism)

* Jesus was just a good teacher or prophet

* Christians have always killed and persecuted Jews- why should I believe you want to help me?

* Constantine’s effect on Christianity (Council of Nicene) solidified a gentile Christianity and replaced Jewish holidays and traditions with rebranded pagan ceremonies

* Anti-Semitic teachings of the Gentile leaders of the early church

– Crusaders murdered many Jews on their way to Jerusalem (by now renamed by Rome as Palestine)

– Stories like: Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make matzo at Passover

* Forced to wear distinctive clothing, pushed into ghettos, kept out of many occupations

* Blamed for the Black Death plague

* During the 15th century the Pogroms (Poland/Russia) were responsible for the death of thousands (or more) Jews

And there’s more- much more. Today I think it is much harder for a Jewish person to accept their own Messiah than it is for a Believer to try to witness to that person.

Finally, you must be very sensitive to the words and names you use. Do not deny the anti-Semitic past, but say it is time to move forward, to atone for what was done by telling the truth and getting back to the “Jewishness” of the Gospels.

Don’t be cocky. Remember Shaul warned Gentile  Believers that if God was willing to cut off the natural branch, how much more will He be willing to cut off a transplanted branch? Believers aren’t any better than non-Believers, and Christians aren’t any better than Jews. Yeshua said to be first you must be a slave to others. Keep that in mind when you minister to anyone.

Always relate to people as people with courtesy, dignity and friendliness. Be natural and spontaneous, not derisive or argumentative, and always depend on the Ruach HaKodesh for your witnessing. As Yeshua told His disciples, do not worry about what you will say because the Ruach will give you what you will need. If you let the Ruach guide you, then it is really God witnessing to the people, not you. And His word never returns void.

If we are to make people jealous for the Messiah (Romans 11:11), the best witness is not what we say but how we live our lives and act towards others, even in a brief encounter. Avoid offensive terminology; instead of the word ‘conversion” use ‘turning from sin’, or T’Shuvah. Instead of ‘you Jews”, say ‘the Jewish people’, instead of ‘Old Testament”, say ‘Hebrew scriptures’, ‘Tanakh’, or ‘Torah”. And never, NEVER refer to a saved Jew as a “Completed Jew”. That is insulting and derisive. I like to call myself a “Born-anew Jew.”

And above all, instead of ‘Jesus Christ’, say ‘Yeshua’, ‘Mashiach’, or ‘Messiah’.

If you practice this, keep up on your Messianic prophecies, learn how to answer objections with leading questions, and act with compassion for what it is like to be Jewish, you will be more successful than you can imagine. It will take time: Jewish resistance to the B’rit Chadasha has been built up over millennia. It is based in prejudice, hate, fear, ignorance, and suffering.  It is a very thick wall to penetrate. But it can be penetrated- I am living proof of that.

If you want to see my witness, go here:

Now! Get out there, save souls, and may God be with you.

Baruch ha Shem!!